Coins Of Shatavahana Kingdom Also Unearthed

Evidence of flourishing trade relations between India and Egypt during the Roman era, scientists say.

MUMBAI, May 4 (The CONNECT) – The unearthing of a Roman era Buddha statue, Sanskrit inscriptions and Shatavaha era coins in Egypt sent waves of excitement among archaeologists and students of history.

The joint-American Polish-American archaeological mission in Berenike on the Red Sea coast has successfully unearthed a statue of a Roman-era Buddha during excavations at the archaeological city temple.

Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Archeology, said the archaeological mission has been operating at the site since 1994 under the supervision of the Supreme Council.

An announcement put out by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on the social media confirmed  that its current excavation season at the site witnessed many important evidence of the existence of trade relations between Egypt and India during the Roman era, where Egypt was a central location on the trade route that connects the Roman Empire to many regions of the Ancient World including India.

Several ports during the Roman era on the Red Sea coast in Egypt participated in this trade, most importantly Briniki where ships arriving from India were loaded with products such as pepper, semi-precious stones, textiles and ivory, which were unloaded, and shipments on beauty transporting goods across the desert to the Nile. Other ships would then transport goods to Alexandria and from there to the rest of the Roman Empire.

And from his side is clearer Dr. Marius Goyazda, head of the Polish side mission, said that the discovered statue was made of stone that may have been extracted from a region south of Istanbul or may have been carved locally in Briniki and dedicated to the temple by one or more wealthy traders from India.

The statue is 71 cm high and depicts a Buddha standing and holding part of his clothes in his left hand, and around his head there is a hala with sunlight depicted on it, indicating to his radiating mind, and beside it is a lotus flower.

And the Dr points out. Stephen Sidbotham, head of the mission on the American side, said that the mission also succeeded, during its work at the temple, in uncovering an inscription in Hindi (Sanskrit) dating back to the Roman Emperor Philip the Arab (Marcus Julius Phelps) (244 – 249 AD. ), and this inscription does not appear to be from the same date of the statue, which is probably much older, as the other inscriptions were in the same temple in Greek, dating back to the early first century BC.

Another interesting find was two second-century coins from the central Indian kingdom of Satavahana.